Latest Waste and resource management reports

in: Research EPA Research Reports
Research 375 cover

Research 375: Development of Quality Standards for Compost and Digestate in Ireland

Authors: Percy Foster and Munoo Prasad, May 2021

Year: 2021

In Ireland, there are no national end-of-waste criteria for compost and digestate derived from source-separated materials. This study developed a quality standard for digestate and an updated standard for compost, it also recommends a strategy on how Ireland should implement national end-of-waste criteria for compost and digestate. It also examined best practice in other countries and options for having end-of-waste criteria.

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Research 366: An Investigation into WEEE Arising and Not Arising in Ireland (EEE2WEEE)

Authors: Yvonne Ryan-Fogarty, Katherine Casey, Damian Coughlan, Maria Lichrou, Lisa O’Malley and Colin Fitzpatrick, February 2021

Year: 2021

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is the fastest growing waste stream in Europe. This research provides insight into consumer and business behaviours towards WEEE, particularly regarding how key decisions are made around WEEE disposal. This research determined a hybrid approach to WEEE target setting should be explored, using data available to Ireland and using aspects of the WEEE Calculation Tool.

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Research 340: Valorisation of Composted Organic Fines and Sewage Sludge Using Pyrolysis (OF-PYR)

Authors: Marzena Kwapinska, David A. Agar, Bart Bonsall and James J. Leahy, September 2020

Year: 2020

In Ireland, organic “fines” residue, derived from the separation of municipal solid waste and sewage sludge from municipal wastewater treatment plants, are currently processed for disposal as wastes. The Valorisation of Composted Organic Fines and Sewage Sludge Using Pyrolysis project (OF-PYR) investigated the potential of slow pyrolysis as a technology for their treatment as an alternative to other disposal options.

Research 333

Research 333: TriREUSE – Trialling the Preparation for Reuse of Consumer Laptops, Tablets and Smartphones

Authors: Damian Coughlan and Colin Fitzpatrick, August 2020

Year: 2020

Information and communication technology (ICT) devices contain critical raw materials. The TriREUSE project aimed to provide an insight into possible reuse rates for WEEE collections that target consumer ICT products with reuse potential. The project involved a series of 10 dedicated collection events that encouraged people to dispose of old or unwanted data-bearing devices, with the incentive of a free data destruction service.

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Research 307: Study on Usage and Waste Management of Amalgam Dental Fillings and Mercury-free Alternatives

Authors: Martina Hayes, Aileen Callanan, Mairead Harding, Christopher Lynch and Francis Burke, February 2020

Year: 2020

The filling of teeth is one of the most routine and common tasks undertaken by dentists. Because of the availability of community fluoridation and improved dental care, Irish adults have fewer missing teeth; however, they have more teeth with fillings.

Research 294

Research 294: Investigation of Indium Recovery from End-of-life LCDs

Authors: Chinnam Rama Krishna, John Mulcahy and Lisa O’Donoghue, September 2019

Year: 2019

The LCDVal project aimed to illustrate the potential indium value contained in liquid crystal displays (LCDs) accessible via recovery techniques, therefore turning liquid crystal panel waste fractions into a resource for critical raw materials.

Research 292

Research 292: Developing Frameworks for Evaluation and Mitigation of Environmental Impact of Infant Feeding Decisions on Healthcare and Society

Authors: Bernadette O’Regan, Richard Moles, Yvonne Ryan-Fogarty and Rachel Shawe, September 2019

Year: 2019

Substantial environmental costs result from infant feeding decisions, not only regarding milks, foods and equipment purchased, but also regarding disposal of plastics, packaging and food waste. Existing infant feeding policies and waste management guidance do not address the disposal and waste aspects.

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Research 282: Reducing Commercial Food Waste in Ireland

Sarah Broderick and Colum Gibson , July 2019

Year: 2019

Food waste is a global problem that has environmental, social and economic consequences. According to the hierarchy of waste management, prevention is the most favourable action to take when trying to manage food waste. The commercial sector, which refers to food wholesale, retail and service, accounts for 17% of food waste in European countries.

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Research 279: The Role of Incentivising Biomethane in Ireland Using Anaerobic Digestion

Authors: Karthik Rajendran, Brian Ó Gallachóir and Jerry D. Murphy, June 2019

Year: 2019

Ireland’s renewable energy targets for 2020 include 16% renewable energy; this can be broken down to 40% renewable electricity, 12% renewable heat and 10% renewable transport. Owing to the commercialisation of wind energy, the progression of carbon-free electricity generation is under way; however, this is not the case for heat and transport.

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Research 274: AgriBenchmark: Benchmarking Sustainable Nutrient Management on Irish Farms

Authors: Paul N.C. Murphy, Ian Thomas, Cathal Buckley, Edel Kelly, Emma Dillon and Thia Hennessy, April 2019

Year: 2019

AgriBenchmark explored the possibilities for benchmarking of nutrient management performance on Irish farms. Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS) data (2008–2015; 1446 farms) was used to characterise and explore the potential for improvement of farm nutrient management performance and resultant aspects of environmental and economic sustainability through the derivation of three key performance indicators.

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Research 272: Evaluation of Hand-held XRF for Screening Waste Articles for Exceedances of Limit Values for Brominated Flame Retardants.

Authors: Stuart Harrad, Daniel Drage, Mohamed Abdallah, Martin Sharkey and Harald Berresheim , March 2019

Year: 2019

Recent research has demonstrated the presence of restricted persistent organic pollutant (POP) brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in items such as children’s toys and food contact articles. As the presence of these contaminants in such items serves no useful purpose, they are thought to originate from the use of recycled plastics that were originally treated with BFRs.

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Research 271: Resource Efficiency in Priority Irish Business Sectors

Authors: Colman McCarthy, Safaa Al Tameemi, Colum Gibson, Tadhg Coakley and Dermot Cunningham , March 2019

Year: 2019

The purpose of this desk study was to identify and examine the most important manufacturing and service sectors from environmental and economic perspectives and from the perspective of potential for improvement in resource efficiency.

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Research 262: A Community Based Social Marketing Approach for Increased Participation in WEEE Recycling (ColectWEEE)

Authors: Katherine Casey, Maria Lichrou and Colin Fitzpatrick, November 2018

Year: 2018

This study explored human behaviour in relation to small WEEE recycling through 26 in-depth interviews with 30 participants; observations and casual conversations at a civic amenity site and waste collection event; and participant observation at 25 retailers. The study proposes a multi-pronged approach to social marketing campaigns with the aim of increasing participation in small WEEE recycling.

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Research 254: TaLAM: Mapping Land Cover in Lowlands and Uplands with Satellite Imagery

Authors: Fiona Cawkwell, Christoph Raab, Brian Barrett, Stuart Green and John Finn, August 2018

Year: 2018

The Towards Land Cover Accounting and Monitoring (TaLAM) project is part of Ireland’s response to creating a national land cover mapping programme. Its aims are to demonstrate how the new digital map of Ireland, Prime2, from Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI), can be combined with satellite imagery to produce land cover maps.

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Research 241: Research of Upcycling Supports to Increase Re-use, with a Focus on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (UpWEEE)

Authors: Michael Johnson, Kathleen McMahon and Colin Fitzpatrick, March 2018

Year: 2018

This report provides a range of recommendations aimed at supporting preparation for re-use of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) that will support the extension and development of this activity in Ireland.

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Key Waste Policy Issues in Eight Selected EU Countries

Annex to Review of Current Priorities and Emerging Issues in European Waste Policy, October 2017

Year: 2017

Annex to the Report: Review of Current Priorities and Emerging Issues in European Waste Policy

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A Review of Current Priorities and Emerging Issues in European Waste Policy

Year: 2017

This report sets out to assess key current issues, and important emerging issues, in the waste policy arena in the European Commission, and in selected Member States.

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Research 201: Investigation of Liquid Crystal Displays as a Source of Indium

Authors: Lisa O’Donoghue and Paul Moroney, August 2017

Year: 2017

Research Report 201 detailing the Investigation of Liquid Crystal Displays as a Source of Indium

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Research 213: Material Reuse Good Practice Guide

Authors: Sarah Miller, Jackie McGloughlin, Olivier Gaillot and Louise Connolly, May 2017

Year: 2017

This report is a Material Reuse Good Practice Guide for anyone interested in extending the life-cycle of their items

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Research 202: Review of Waste/Resource Exchange Systems and Good Practice Guide

Authors: Louise Connolly, Brian McIntyre, Serena Byrne, Brenda McEvoy and Louise Campion, May 2017

Year: 2017

This report is a Review of Waste/Resource Exchange Systems and Good Practice Guide